tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 28, 2011 3:00am-4:30am PDT
good morning to you all. welcome to this cnn sunday morning, a special edition here. suzanne malveaux joining me, t.j. holmes here with you. we have special coverage of hurricane irene which is getting closer and closer and closer to new york city. anderson cooper is live in greenwich village there. john king on long beach for us this morning as well. >> already what a morning it's already been. very well foreshadowing the day that's in store for new york and north. an incredibly massive hurricane, rain-making hurricane irene, continuing her trek up the eastern seaboard.
take a look at this. still a category 1 storm, 75 mile-an-hour winds. take a look at these pictures, though, the eye could be moving over atlantic city, new jersey right about now. we are keeping a close eye on that. the current track has irene moving towards, of course, new york city. all eyes on new york. >> they've seen some flooding in some areas already. a number of power outages at least, 400,000 reported in the city already. the storm's leading edge, again, it's a little ways out, still 100 miles out, still, the leading edge of the storm has made its way to the metro area, starting to have an impact. the other impact? mass transit. can you imagine new york city without subways? that's what's happening right now. shut down at noon yesterday. will be shut, it appears, at least through the morning commute tomorrow. this has been a deadly storm, at least ten people dead in three states that could go up. the mayor of new york is telling new yorkers, again, we know you're a tough bunch, you know you've been through a lot, you
think you can make it through anything but take this one seriously. >> and i think it's fair to say these conditions make it unsafe to stay outside. let me just repeat that. the time for evacuation is over. everyone should now go inside and be prepared to stay inside until weather conditions improve. >> as we mentioned we have our people all over the place this morning, including our anderson cooper who is in new york for us. anderson, just a little ways away. starting to affect the city a little bit. still a little ways to go before it gets to you. >> yes, it's really at this point the driving rain, it's not even the sideways rain. it's coming more or less straight down. the city streets are pretty empty at this point. we were driving around the city, midtown and lower manhattan. no one is out. there are actually some businesses still open. there's a deli right over here
by west 3rd street that's open for business if you can believe it. a lot of shops have started putting tape in their windows. we can cross over the street here, no traffic coming, obviously. there's actually taxis still available. there's a taxi right there still available. the taxi and limousine commission put extra cabs on the streets yesterday and saturday. there were tons of cabs even after the subways shut down. that was all part of a plan to help people move to other parts of the city. this is a business that's taped up their windows. a lot of the local businesses are taking this seriously. only a few places were open last night. with all the construction going on in new york city, construction sites like this one, this one looks locked down. this is pretty well along in terms of construction. that's not as big a concern for this one. for construction sites where you may have supplies laying around,
that could become airborn. at this point we're not seeing the heavy winds. it's kind of an inconvenient rain, obviously we anticipate that changing a lot within the next couple hours. >> anderson, it's suzanne. i'm just wondering, anyone visit that deli or are the streets basically closed? anybody go to that deli? >> yes. there were a couple people who have gone to the deli. new yorkers are obviously a hardy bunch. there will be a lot of people curious and want to step outside. we always caution people, please stay indoors. the mayor is cautioning people, please stay indoors as much as you can. there's no point in coming out. we think it will get miserable here. other concern, suzanne, is what happens when -- if it's a category 1 storm, even a strong tropical storm, what happens as this wind, you know, moves through these canyons of skyscrapers and buildings. obviously the wind speed picks
up. even if you get sustained wind of 60 miles an hour as it whips through the canyons created by the buildings, the winds are a lot stronger. you can get hurricane force winds even if it's not a hurricane. a lot remains to be seen about the impact this will have on the city. we'll cover it every step of the way. a couple businesses open. they're not doing a brisk business but a few people going for last-minute supplies. >> anderson there for us in new york. we'll be checking in with you often throughout this morning. thank you. we are also going to head away from there, john king. i believe i have his location right as long island i believe is where our john king is. good morning to you once again, again, anderson called it there. kind of an inconvenient rain and wind event so the far. but it's not going to stay like that. >> it's not going to stay like that. i can tell anderson to brace. just in the last 20 minutes or so in long beach, which is not
that far away, about a 45 minute drive without the traffic. a lot of new yorkers will say i'm not going to make that in 45 minutes. but without the traffic. just an hour ago, street flooding, an hour ago the water was way in here. now you see it up to the curb, coming out several more feet. that's on the ground level. the beach, the board walk is about 50 yards that way. water is starting to flow in, which tells you what? the water is high enough that it's coming in from the board walk. remember we're right now getting heavy rain. the storm is several hours away. however, high tide is about an hour and a half away. not sure how far you can see, you see sandbags going in. steps down, driveways down. that's what you see in the coastal communities. people from getting the water from getting into the low-lying areas here. you're beginning to see the middle of the street.
that was dry just a couple hours ago. it's harder to see up above us, the big concern are power outages. the power lines are beginning to blow. as you look down the street, transformers at the top of the poles, some of the poles starting to shake. the brunt of the storm still three or four hours away from where we are at long beach. the rains are intensifying and an dderson cooper is in greenwi village. if we're beginning to get this on long island, i hate to deliver the news to people at new york city but this is coming your way. >> all right. >> john, that neighborhood that you're in, can you still hear me? that neighborhood that you're in, what kind of neighborhood is it? i understand we lost -- we don't have john anymore. i want to go to jason carroll. can you hear us? i believe you're in atlantic city, new jersey. >> absolutely.
i can hear you. let me update you. things are feeling much better now in terms of weather conditions than the last time i spoke to you an hour ago. the winds have died down just a bit. the rain has died down just a bit. certainly good news for atlantic city. just about an hour from now we will be at high tide. that is what emergency officials will be worried about, how much the surf and the water from the ocean surge comes up to the board walk. we can seat sand dune that was there. there was concern that the water would reach over the sand dune. that has not happened. one emergency official seems to suggest that he says we're not out of the woods yet in atlantic city but perhaps atlantic city has weather the worst of this storm. the casinos are boarded up. they started doing that in anticipation for the storm, boarded up, closed casinos here, all 11 casinos have been closed due to the mandatory evacuation that the city is under.
some 92,000 people without power in atlantic city. the next watch they'll be looking for is once again high tide. that's going to be just about an hour from now. i'm going to throw it back to anderson in new york. anderson? >> jason, thanks very much. obviously a lot of preparations have gone into this in new york, snowplows have been put on a lot of vehicles in the city. that is in order to move any debris just as precautionary measure, any debris that may be blowing about. that's one of the major concerns in addition to the storm surge and potential flooding. ali velshi is standing by for us at pier 17 on the west side of manhattan on the hudson river. ali, what's the situation there? >> all right, anderson, i'm getting about the same amount of rain where you are in manhattan. what i don't have is the wind tunnels because i'm on the east river. there's brooklyn, john king is way out on long island over there. this is pier 17 which a lot of
people will know as the south street seaport. i've been watching the east river since i got here. within the last half hour or so it's gone up about 6 inches or so. we're 3 hours, 2 1/2 hours from high tide. it could go up anyway. we're not getting any of the storage surge. we're probably about 2 feet from the riverbank at this point on the east river. this is of major concern. new york has the largest electrical system on the continent. and about 90,000 miles of cable are underground. this is what the problem is going to be. we already know as you said, close to 75,000 or 80,000 people in the new york air, that area serviced by consolidated edison, con ed. there are about 86,000 miles of overhead power cable. we saw trees down, over cars and things like that. here you have the brooklyn bridge behind me. normally you'd see a lot more activity on the brooklyn bridge
and the manhattan bridge. we're largely the only people out right now and emergency crews and some other reporters, some other crews. we did see a few people walking around, coming out to check out the scene, see what's going on. around here we done the have the wind tunnels you have, anderson. it's really just pretty rainy. i'll show outtrees on the promanade here. at the moment we're pretty dry. this is the area that's in a flood zone danger. if this river starts to come up and there's a storm surge, this whole area is likely to get flooded, anderson? >> and ali, there are plans that if winds go above 60 miles an hour for a number of these bridges to stop allowing traffic to go on them. >> that's exactly right. they are very cautious about that. we're not anywhere close to that right now. you have the manhattan bridge, the brooklyn bridge, bridges up
on this side of the east river and then you've got bridges on the other side. on the hudson river. those will close. i will tell you, having been driving around the area for a little while, there isn't much traffic here anyway. people seem to be heeding those warnings. there are people walking around, people are heeding the warnings that if you don't need to be out in a car, you shouldn't be. manhattan looks like a movie set tonight. i've never seen it this empty. most people are staying inside. if you're too low to the ground, you get flooded. if you're too high up, 20 stories or 30 stories into the air, you have problems with windows and things flying around. if you'red in middle you're likely to lose power. most people will stay safe indoors in manhattan. that's what we're seeing right now. >> the hope is not to have a lot of people coming out and looking around. again, it's the concern about debris flying around. the flooding parts in the area
where ali is, you know, there's a number of low-level areas that were mandatory evacuations for. frankly, i think a lot of people didn't heed those warnings and decided to stay put. in the rest of manhattan where there's not as great a potential for flooding, hopefully not as great a potential for having blackouts, i think curiosity will get the best of people and going out walking around. the city is trying to discourage those people. with flying debris you never really know. i'm about a mile and a half north of where ali is, north and to the west, about two miles north of battery park city. that is obviously a big concern. one of low-lying areas down there that has a great potential for flooding. we have all our correspondents fanned out throughout the region. we'll take a quick break. storm coverage continues in a moment. [a software upgrade.sh ot
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i'm thinking over brooklyn at this time. here's the center of the storm. if it continues on a north, northeast path. that's going to put you guys on what we call the good side of the storm. your winds will be coming in from the east. we're going to watch them as this thing heads closer to you. they'll come in and switch from a westerly direction. do expect some of the changes down the line. the strongest winds are just a couple hours away.
we've had near hurricane force winds already at laguardia and jfk getting the upper 60 mile per hour range. some of those damaging winds will be coming in. take a look at this. new stronger development closer to long beach. this is all pushing up to the north. you'll watch those winds pick up 30 minutes or so from now. other thing we're dealing with are the winds pushing up the harbor. we've seen storm surge reports pushing 4 feet. that water is slowly and steadily rising as well. take a look at this google earth. as we take a look at more of new york city and what you should expect. the wind increases, they push through and accelerate and channel through all the buildings. we are expecting to see debris flying and power lines down. two people were injured in new jersey because of those. if you're not inside you really need to be inside at this time. also just got a wind gust, central park, around 60 miles
per hour. the water is starting to come up. we'll see that rise over towards battery park and that whole area could get flooded in, even though this is what we would call a weak hurricane or strong tropical storm. that storm surge will be higher than you normally would see. we do expect another landfall then over long island. this thing will be heading on up towards boston say by the middle of the afternoon. expect your conditions to start to calm down a little bit before sunset tonight. >> jacqui, in terms of long beach, we've seen flooding down there. what's the latest that you have on that? >> the rain's coming down heavy. that's one thing we're dealing with. we're expecting upwards of 6 to 12 inches of rainfall. we'll see that and then in terms of tide coming in on long beach, 3 to 6 feet will be a good possibility in that area. >> all right. now, when is the latest advisory going to be? i'm trying to get a sense of, is it still a category 1 at this
point? >> it's still a category 1, 75 mile per hour maximum sustained winds. hurricane is at 74. that's very little difference between a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane. something to keep in mind. expect this to be a weak category 1 as it moves into your area. in terms of the wind, i don't think that will be your biggest issue. i think it's the water and the flooding. when we look back and we think about irene and its impact in time, it will nobody more than a floodmaker. >> you think it's getting faster. do you know the speed of the storm at this point? >> it's moving about 17 miles per hour. it's been nudging up a little bit. typically as a hurricane moves through the northeast and new england it will accelerate very quickly. sometimes we could see those things ripping at like 40 plus miles per hour. unfortunately that's not the case this time around. it will pick up a little bit in forward speed but probably not a whole heck of a lot. that's why the rainfall totals
are so high. >> new yorkers are looking basically at rain for all of sunday, through sunday night or how late? >> absolutely. through sunday night. we're not going to be done with this until monday. >> and a lot of storm drains are clogged. there's beginning to be leaks in a lot of apartments. my apartment already has a leak in it this morning that i had to deal with before coming here. with winds and rain all day long it's going to get very, very messy indeed. it's beginning to be unpleasant. jacqui, we'll check in with you throughout the morning. let's check in with elizabeth cohen, 33rd street, 32nd street by new york university, the medical center. did they evacuate that area? that's in zone "a" as they're calling it, in a low-lying area near the water. >> nyu is indeed in zone "a."
there were five hospitals told you need to get your paetschs out of here, you're in zone "a." nyu had to leave some patients behind. they were so sick that moving them might have killed them. cnn got exclusive access to go into nyu and see the kinds of things they are doing to keep those six patients and all the staff that has to care for them safe. let's take a listen to what the administrator told me when i went to go see him late last nig night. these patients are pretty frail. >> absolutely. keeping them here has its risks, too. >> it was very tough but i think the clinicians made the right decision. >> they have a staff of a couple hundred people, including engineers trying to keep that place safe. so let's take a look at some of the things they're doing.
the nyu langone medical center brought in 20,000 of these bags of sand. the reason why is just on the other side of these doors. come here, let me show you what i mean. just across the street from the hospital is the east river. as you can see, that hospital is so close, it's just about 100 yards away from the river, anderson. i'm told that about 15 nurses and 2 doctors volunteered to stay at the hospital to take care of these six -- five or six sick people. i asked the administrator was it a tough sell? did you have to convince these gals and guys to stay? he said absolutely not. they wanted to stay and take care of these people. >> it's an excellent hospital. i've been there myself. we'll take a quick break. our coverage continues in a moment. we'll be right back.
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you're looking at kill devil hills, obviously a very different scene now, much calmer scene than it was a short time ago and obviously much nicer than it is in very rainy new york city. dawn is breaking and the rains have come obviously it's been raining throughout the night. it's not a huge torrential rain or anything it's a steady typical rain you might see in new york. we anticipate in the coming hours obviously it is going to get much worse as this storm begins to approach. i'll check in with jacqui jeras in a moment.
the city was trying to make it as easy as possible for the city to evacuate. with the subway system shutting down at noon on saturday it made it difficult for folks to get around the city. the taxi and limousine commission sent in more taxis than they would normally have on a saturday. it was easy to get a taxi yesterday. a lot of people staying with friends farther up in manhattan if they're living downtown or any of the areas around the water and trying to evacuate to areas on higher ground. we're coming to you one block south of washington square park. this is an area that is prone to flooding only if it was a cat 3 storm. they're not anticipating large flooding here. different streets have different levels and also a lot of storm drains are clogged or filled, so you can get localized flooding.
the main flooding in manhattan is anticipated to be in these low-lying areas. ali velshi is at the south street seaport. that's about a mile, mile even a half south and to the east of our location. here it's pretty empty right now. the mayor telling people who have not evacuated from those low-lying areas, at this point it's too late. don't try to do it now. stay where you are. here's whsome of what he said yesterday. >> your safety, your own safety is dependent on what you do. new yorkers should remain indoors and take the following steps. first, move away as far as possible from glass windows. there's a risk that flying debris could break or shatter windows in your home. the risk increases if you live in a high-rise, particularly on the tenth floor or higher. don't stay on the first floor of your building lobby and stand in
a congregated area in a glass enclosed lobby. make sure windows and doors leading to the you'd side are closed. if you have a fireplace in your home, close the damper, turn off propane tanks and move to a room with as few windows as possible and ride out the storm there. >> ali velshi is standing by in south street seaport. what's the situation there? >> you know, anderson, it's interesting in just the last 20 minutes or so as the sun has come up, the situation looks very different. 20 minutes ago i could point across and show you where brooklyn is. you you can barely see it. i'm on the east side of the eye land, pier 17 you can see clearly. what you can see is the level of the water continues to rise, probably another few inches in the last 20 minutes. we only have a couple of feet left here before this starts to spill over. that's one of the concerns.
we're in one of those low-lying areas in manhattan. we have the bridges behind us, anderson. no traffic beginning on them right now. the winds are not high enough for them to have closed the bridges but the fact is there aren't a lot of people driving around right now. we are seeing localized flooding in lower manhattan. underneath the city are subways which have been closed up and the power lines. new york has power lines underneath the ground which protects us in most cases from winter storms, big storms when trees fall and take out power lines. in cases like this it becomes a bit of a problem. there are some discussions about what to do about that and how quickly that will affect people. we have now in our latest count just in the new york metro area, new york, the boroughs of new york and westchester county we have close to 07,000 people without power. that will change as it starts to flood and as it starts to get worse. as you mentioned, your apartment
in some cases there are leaks. in some cases there are things flying around that people have to be concerned about. on higher levels when you get to 20 stories or 30 stories, the wind levels will be much higher. the wind is not terrifically strong around here right now. see the trees over here, anderson? you're in a part of manhattan which most people are in. you're in areas where there are lots of buildings. that will make the wind feel stronger. out here right by the east river, the wind is not the problem. as jacqui was saying just a little while ago, the issue will be high tide shows up in less than an hour and a half from now. if that storm surge brings anything in, a whole big area in southern manhattan is going to flood. they've evacuated most people from their areas. some people have decided to stay. it doesn't seem at this point like a massive wind storm around
here. as you can see, a lot of rain. we're starting to see puddling and pooling around lower manhattan. no flooding yet, though. anderson? >> ali, there's still power in the area you're in, right? >> sure. turn it around, you'll see the streetlights on here along the promanade. you can see the buildings of manhattan. a couple are completely shut down. i can see lights all over the place. there's still power where we are. there might be localized outages in some places and we do know about that but around here, we still have pouer. >> it is possible, though, that even in advance of any flooding con edison, the power company in new york stay, they may actually shut down power to some areas they anticipate flooding in, is that correct? >> yes, they're trying to get ahead of this thing.
with underground wires, shorts may become a problem. manhattan operates with energy created by steam lines. they've already shut that down. that's not necessarily storm damage, that's preemptive work by con edison, the 70,000 people without power already. the big issue here is when this river, if i had longer arms i'd be able to touch. it's less than two feet from the bank. when that starts to come over on this side, when new york harbor starts to flood and if stuff comes up on the hudson river side of things that's when you'll start to see power problems. that will move into land. that this is a lot of reclaimed land here. where i'm standing wasn't part of the manhattan. this is a tidal estuary.
if there's a storm surge that comes in on the ocean, this is basically part of the ocean right here, anderson. >> ali, we'll continue to check in with you. that will be a main point for potential flooding. ali said he's seen the water rising a lot just in the time he's been there. we're going to take a quick break. we have correspondents throughout the united states. we'll give you the latest on the track of the storm. [ man ] behind every business is a "what if." what if we designed an electric motorcycle? what if we turned trash into surfboards?
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>> male announcer: now, for a limited time, your companion flies free, plus save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. conditions apply. welcome back to our continuing coverage of hurricane irene, coming to you about one block south of washington square park in the village in new york. we have correspondents all throughout the east coast of the united states. our don lemon is in philadelphia. what is it like there? >> it's pretty windy here, anderson. it comes and goes. we're on the backside of this storm here in philadelphia, been watching the local reports, listen together radio. they think they were sort of spared. the trouble will be flooding now. that will be in the outside areas of delaware county, outside philadelphia. there's flooding along the
schuylkill river, along by the delaware river as well. in a place called darby and darby township. i want to show you the problem. we're in the middle of center city. that's the iconic city hall right here. we're on 12th street and market. there are very few cars out here. they told people to hunker down. this is the issue. we've been watching these people coming through, trying to use their umbrellas. they've been projectiles going up and down the street. limbs here that have been breaking and flying down the street. that's what they're worried about and that's why the mayor has asked people to stay home. it's safe for me to walk across the street here. i'm not really jay walking because there's nobody out here. there's a little bit of flooding that happened earlier, although not that much. everybody has sandbags along the
glass doors like in our hotel here. they put plastic up just in case it would have gotten worse. they believe they were spared the brunt of it. still, the backside of that storm has to come through. the winds will probably pick up a little bit more and we'll see more of the storm surge and what happened. they'll try to deal with what's going to go on after the eye has passed over. >> a lot of cleanup, no doubt. the flooding, you never know exactly where it's going to flood. you get storm drains that get clogged up and entire streets and communitied end up getting flooded. athena jones is standing by in alexandria, virginia. what's the situation there, athena? >> anderson, alexandria seems to have missed the worst of it. there's no flooding to speak of, which is a big deal around here. it's a flood-prone area.
we spoke with the city. they couldn't the themselves court gnat. we have people out of power, there's been wind and rain but no fatalities. in the state of virginia there's nearly a million people with no power, three fatalities, all from fallen trees. we spoke to maryland's department of emergency and there's one fatality there because of a fallen tree. lots of power outages, lines down, electricity companies warning people to not go out and pick up them lines themselves. we expect the numbers in terms of outages to change, go up and down a little bit as they get repairs done. one thing to mention in chesapeake bay down here south of us, calvert cliffs, there's a nuclear plant there, the constellation nuclear energy group. one of its reactors is offline. it automatically went offline
after a piece of siding ran into the reactor. they put it offline while they assess the dj and go through unusual emergency operations. they say this is an usual event, the lowest level emergency status you can have. the company says there's no threat to the airy or employees. we'll keep an eye on that. >> athena, appreciate that. i want to quickly show you one of the problems, even in areas that is not prone to flooding. this say storm drain. it's apparently all clogged up. cleanup crews yesterday were trying to clear them out of debris. but you can see, a lot of debris covering up this morning drain. this could cause a problem as the rain increases and it simply gets overwhelmed. this whole area could end up
being flooded. i want to listen in to our affiliate wcbs here in new york. >> you've done a pretty good job. i've been tweeting throughout the past 18 hours we've been here, a lot of people from spring lake, delmar, have been tweeting me to check on their property. i can assure everyone who has beach front homes here, no homes have been flooded on ocean avenue or further inland. at this point you're okay. there are a couple of trees down. at some point we'll take a drive on some of the back roads. at least a block or two inlan so you can see. it's a little bit dangerous. you might think this is dangerous. but from a wind standpoint we're at a bit of a low. on the interior because the trees, there's so much movement with the trees and so many
downed trees, it's just safer to be out here in the open area and not worrying about trees coming down on you. these pictures, again, to look at it, i just can't -- i don't know if the picture are even conveying enough just how high -- these are 20 and 30-foot waves crashing against this pier. i say that on a conservative estimate. that is a massive pier ahead. i'm almost mesmerized looking at this. feel free to chime in. >> this picture by far illustrates the point that our meteorologists are making about the storm surge, the best we've seen so far. mary, i can't help but think of virginia beach yesterday at this time. that looks exactly like the picture we were showing in virginia beach. >> the strength of the storm has not weakened. it is really still. we're looking at 80 miles per
hour. the strength of that hurricane and it is still a hurricane. it has not been downgraded to a tropical storm. we are seeing it through new jersey. it is taking a direct path to the new york city area. we'll take a look at other areas as well. >> thanks to chris ragge and crew. stay safe. we'll bring it back closer to this area and talk to wendy gillette who has been standing by in hoboken all morning long. i can tell by listening it's coming down pretty hard where you are. >> it has been coming down really hard for the last three hours or so. the hudson river just keeps rising. we're on hudson street. take a look at the river. you can see over the railing right here it's only probably a foot, i would say, from coming over. there's such a substantial difference from when we got here, about three or four hours ago. felix, show that wooden pole.
this wooden pole here in the water is almost submerged at this point. that's a good benchmark when we come to live shots in the future to see how much it's coming up further than that. it's definitely risen here three feet probably. the worries of hoboken mayor, don zimmer, that the hudson river would start to flood this side of town, we're very realistic at this point with several more hours of rain coming through. now, most people have heeded those warnings to stay away from the river and actually to get out of town. there's a mandatory evacuation for basement apartments, voluntary evacuation for everyone else. we saw a few people, a few hours ago, come down here to see what the hurricane was like. let's hear from them. >> we were talking with katie mcgee who's familiar, wendy, with the area where you're standing.
katie, what were you saying about this? >> where she's standing on the walkway there's a decent amount of space between where the river is and the bottom of that. to see the water come up like that and especially the rocks behind her, that will be a real problem. the biggest part of flooding in hoboken is usually the southwest corner. mayor zimmer has been worried about the flooding. i think we'll have a serious issue. >> evacuation order for the first floor in hoboken. many people getting out but many people not complying and staying. we'll look at where the direct path is with the hurricane. live pictures from plain view. >> our coverage continues? just a moment. we'll be right back. s. it's salonpas. this is the relief i've been looking for. salonpas has 2 powerful pain fighting ingredients that work for up to 12 hours.
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i want to show you a live shot from columbus circumstance until new york city. we've definitely seen the rains just starting to pick up just in the last few minutes. we noticed it down here also near washington square park where we are. let's check in with jacqui jeras in the cnn weather center. it seems like we've seen an uptick in the rains in the last few minutes here in new york. >> anderson, i think you're seeing the worst of it right now. that has to do with the structure of this storm. it appears to be weakening and the eye wall is starting to open up a little bit. the eye wall is starting to move into new york city as we speak. that's why you've seen the uptick. the center of the storm now getting closer toward sandy hook. it's down into new jersey. the winds are coming in from the east. this will be the highest time you'll see the surge. it will be pushing up the harbor and into this region.
even though the center is still miles away, probably a couple dozen miles away, this is what we're seeing over new york city. that's where the intense rainfall is, the strongest of winds will be. you have to have the thunderstorms to help those winds stay stronger. i think you'll see calmer conditions anyway within the next two hours. the height of the storm now is hitting new york city, a little bit earlier than we expected. you can expect to see wind gusts around 50, 60 mile per hour range at times in these heavier bursts. the rain's going to come down heavy in the next couple hours as well. that water is starting to pile up. check out this gauge i have for you. this is from noaa, the title gauges. this is for battery park here. notice the red line that we see here, this is where we are right now. that's at about 8 feet. this is where normal high tide is, around 5 feet. we're about 3 feet above where
we normally would be. you can see the water is rising and continuing to rise. it's going to peek out, coinciding with high tide in the next hour or two and we'll start to see it make that churn farther on down. the worst of the storm certainly bearing down. we think the highest surge is going to be over here in this area over towards the bay. up here in the long island sound we're going to see higher surge as well. these numbers, this is the latest of what we call slosh model that noaa runs for us. we've been getting reports as high as four feet plus in that area. that's a little bit on the conservative side. things are bearing down. let's take a look at some of the wind gauges here and show you what we're getting. it looks like that's not working. it's definitely not 7 miles an hour right now. there you go. 39 offshore. we can expect to see the winds continue to pick up along with
these heavy rains. this is pushing towards jersey right now, moving over the hudson river. there you can see, this is manhattan island. this is pushing off towards the west. this whole thing is moving in this direction right now. that center of the storm still way down here. so it still has a ways to go for you but because of the way the storm has structured out, you're going to be seeing the heavier winds pushing in over towards jersey and another couple hours to go for new york city in terms of the worst of the conditions. anderson? >> jacqui, just so i'm clear, you're thinking this rain that we're seeing now is the worst it's going to get in new york city? >> i think this is the heaviest rain that you're going to be seeing coinciding with the strongest of winds, yes. >> wow. because it's not -- this isn't so bad. >> it's not so bad, actually. it's closer towards jersey where the biggest shift is. you are going to see more wind gusts, that water continue to
pile up for the next couple of hours. i think overall we'll be experiencing the worst of those conditions now. >> all right. i mean, got news is, it's an annoying rain but it's not even a sideways rain. it's not a rain that hurts as you're standing in it. obviously the concern is still flooding, because just the amount of time it's going to be raining. do you have any idea how long the rain will last, jacqui? >> i think you'll have rain certainly for the next 12 hours on and off. i think you'll get a little break because of the structure of the storm. i think you should see rain through 6:00, 7:00 tonight. i don't think you can see the double picture. we have a double box right now. this is from new jersey. the water is rising there, the rain is coming down heavy. it's getting close to the top level that area. we are seeing the effects just off to your west across the
river in new jersey. >> coastal areas going to see flooding and going to be affected for most of new yorkers who are not living necessarily right along the water. it's going to be an inconvenience and 12 hours of rain. i think it will be for a lot of new yorkers, a feeling of it's not as bad as they thought it's beginning to be. there's a heavy police presence on the scene. the police aren't taking any chances, having heavy presence on the street as they have all throughout the weekend. mary snow is standing by. mary, where are you right now? >> we are on riverside drive around 92nd street. we've been driving around looking for damage, very empty. the only cars out there are police cars. we've seen some flooding, not major flooding. one thing we did find here, this downed tree along riverside drive right on top of a car
here. it doesn't look like the car was too badly damaged. we haven't seen many downed trees but you were talking about the winds. we really haven't felt any strong winds. we've been on the west side of manhattan so far. we did find flooding at one point on the west side drive. a pocket was close. not terrible flooding so far. >> i'm kind of surprised, i have to say. for all the talk of what the potential could be, obviously you could never really predict this, it seems from what jacqui is saying this may be the worst of the rain. that's good news for a lost folks in new york city. >> yes, i'm very surprised, too. we were out last night down at battery park. really did not feel any strong
winds. because we were told that we were going to start feel something strong winds around 9:00 and we did not. the rain has been steady. as you were talking about just a few minutes ago, it is coming down straight. it's not coming down on a slant. it's not the rain you might expect in a hurricane. it is pretty surprising. >> mary, appreciate it. we'll continue our coverage. we'll be right back after a short break.
>> i want you to take one more look at the ocean. these waves are scary. our photographer, there's somebody behind him holding him back. jimmy, pan over to the ocean. you see those menacing waves? in about five minutes, a few minutes, that water will be on the board walk. and the mess out here is going to be probably a lot of work to clean up. a lot of plywood on businesses in town, businesses have boarded up. i mean businesses like convenience stores that you would imagine being open 24 hours. they have plywood on their doors. nothing's open. no one's walking around here. people are heeding the warnings. as you get closer to the ocean is where the winds pick up. i'm gauging, 50 mile-an-hour winds right now and this is
probably just going to continue to get worse. you do see some sand but i mean, that's normally sand there. and now it's just water. and then that sand is just washing over on to the board walk and you get this foamy mix. jimmy, if you can pan over to the benches. it looks like they've moved. they moved over. i would imagine they would have removed these benches and taking them out. they've taken the trash cans out. but that's cement. that was probably posted into the board walk. check this out over here. there's debris over there. i can't tell what it is. there's fencing that's coming off. of that pier over there and those waves. oh, boy. you're getting a firsthand look because of mobile 2. we wouldn't have been able to be out here if it wasn't for that because our satellite trucks, you can't put the satellite up. it's too dangerous.
the winds could whip it away. look at all this debris. you don't want to be in this. as the governor has been staying, stay home, stay out of this. from what we've seen out here -- >> that's our affiliate wcbs in asbury park. let's go to john king. >> i'm on the board walk in long beach now. i believe you can see a shot coming in. i'll walk out to the edge of the board walk. the winds have picked up dramatically and what we're going to see is dramatic flooding. as you can see the pictures here as we come through the sand barriers that were built to hold the waters back. [ inaudible ] where i'm standing it was dry an hour ago. the waters were coming through. the winds are picking up dramatically. the waves i can see are 15, 20 feet high. i want to show you why this
matters as i try to get you a shot right along the board walk. this is the barrier protecting this town, long beach. one of the concerns -- i'll walk back this way. bear with me as i walk away. i'll show you the other side here. it was built to stop this. instead, the water has started to pour through again. this was completely dry an hour ago. the water is more than a foot deep. i know there's rain blocking some of the shots. but this town is beginning to get substantial flooding and the brunt of the storm is still some distance away. the winds on the board walk have picked up quite dramatically. with the waves churning and the winds coming, there is no doubt if long beach will have flooding. will the wrath of irene bring similar flooding to much more
populated areas, anderson? >> it seems, john, from what jacqui jeras is saying, what we're seeing is the beginning of flooding. we're seeing strong waves. it seems like for populations that are living in the cities in new york city, away from the water, at this point it doesn't look like it's going to be that bad. obviously things can change. how far is the water coming in in long beach? i can't see the picture you're showing us, john. how far does the water come in? >> we had to relocate because where we were up the street, i was standing there at 5:00 a.m. this morning and the streets were dry. and then in a couple hours the water was up to my calves. we tried to find higher places. i'll try to walk out towards the water. we may lose the signal here.
the wind is picking up now. this is the beginning of it. it just started. i want to show you again -- [ inaudible ] see the water now, it's coming right over this. the waves out there, i know you can't see them because of the quality of the shot and the winds and rain, the waves are growing and growing in intensity. the storm is not here yet, the water is beginning to easily reach these bar years. if you get away from the board walk -- right along the edge it's more than a foot deep, some places two feet deep. there are hours more of this still to come, anderson. >> is that an area people had been asked to evacuate? >> yes, this is a mandatory evacuation. there are still some people in town. we went out looking around last night. there were one or two restaurant and bar owners kept their bars open.
there were dozens, not hundreds, of people. when i was on the board walk a moment ago, a police cruiser came by and asked me if i was okay. the water is several feet down below. the barriers that have been constructed to stop this are obviously, they're doing an okay job but not a great job as you begin to see the water breaching it. if you turn towards the ocean as i'm doing now, the winds have picked up in the last 20 minutes or so quite substantially. we went from 30 to 40 mile-an-hour winds at 5:00 a.m. this morning to i'm bracing myself right now. i'm not the lightest guy in the world and these winds are moving me around a little bit. >> and have you noticed a change within the last 30 minutes or so? >> dramatically. dramatically within the last 30 minutes, not just in the strength of the winds, the rain
is now coming much more sideways as opposed to up and down, straight down. and the most dramatic thing you see is when you look out it's the height and power and pressure of the waves, they have grown dramatically. we're around high tide now as you can see. [ inaudible ]. >> we're going to check back in. we're having trouble hearing john. let's listen to wcbs in rockaway beach right now. let's watch the scene right there. >> before we let you go, as you said before, you've traveled great distances to cover weather like this. whether it's north carolina or florida. different story when you're covering it in your own backyard, is it not? >> yes. the last time i was on a board walk, i don't want to date
myself but i guess i've been around a while. the lost time i was on a board walk was in long beach for gloria. that storm blew us right off the air. this is similar to how gloria felt, perhaps more intense. i can certainly see more of what's going on. these storms that we went through in florida, jean, will ma a willma, we went through katrina, were terrifying events you couldn't cover during the storm because they were so intense. this is interesting to happen here, because it's home. you think of it as a hurricane area but it is. we've had hurricanes here throughout history. my folks told me about the hurricanes that happened when their parents were kids. the hurricane of '38, the hurricane in the '40s, hurricane donna, all those famous hurricanes we heard about when we were growing up here.
and this is one of them. there you can see the water sloshing up against the board walk here at beach 116. we're approaching the height of the storm. i believe at this point, we should be about a half hour from high tide. that probably means we have a little bit more, as shawn wipes the lens so you can see us, a little bit more to go through here. oddly, that is still clear. we're going to walk down, back on the board walk. you're looking at the ocean there, being held back and on the other side here, it's still reasonably clear. so when we start to see water creeping around and coming up and over, that's when the real problem begins. take a look also in what the wind is doing up top here. you can hear the rattling of the security gates. we've seen a couple of pieces of siding peel off.
we see the lamp posts rocking back and forth. some of the awnings have been shredded. at least one of the trees on the median has been knocked over. the roots saturated by the water and knocked over by the winds. it's really getting a little intense here. the buildings are holing up rather well. it's not that kind of damage but it's in the observe ye-- it's n yet. turn around and look at that storm surge. it's so impressive to look at that. >> obviously the story right now is clearly out in these coastal areas, out in long beach where john king was, rockaway, long island, low-lying areas where we'll see flooding, no doubt about it. a lot of folks with homes out there are obviously watching this closely. different story here in manhattan and areas that are not in the flood zone.
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columbus circles, some of our cameras up there. there's a steady driving rain here but it's not the kind of sideways rain they're seeing in long beach, new york, some of the coastal areas where the winds have taken the water. this is not a flood zone, which is why we picked this location. we'll check in with ali velshi later on who's at the south street seaport. let's go to jacqui jeras, give us a sense of the latest, how strong it is, where it is. >> the latest from the hurricane center is this is still a 7 amile per hour hurricane. we get an advisory in about 8:00 eastern time. this is probably a tropical storm we're looking at at this point. the structure of the storm is starting to fall apart a little bit. you still have to stay inside, don't let your guard down.
we need to start focusing on what's going on across parts of new england and northeast here. look at all that rain that's out there. it continues to be extremely heavy. we have the outer bands moving across long island on up towards connecticut right now. this has a potential of producing tornadoes. we'll see that threat through the rest of the morning. that will spread northward as we head throughout the day as the spinners come up. in addition to that, we've seen 4 to 5 inches of rain to the northeast. if we get more filling in on the back side of the storm we could double those amounts. inland flooding will be a big threat. in terms of rainfall and in terms of who's getting the worst of the conditions right now, let's zoom in closer for you. we think the center of the storm is pushing up towards sandy hook now, somewhere in this area here. we think the worst of the winds has pushed over towards new jersey. take a look at what's going on down here, over towards edison. that's where you'll see the
strong, heavier wind gusts. in addition to that we take you to bridgeport, providence and long island. we have the heavy showers and thunderstorms pushing in here. we can expect to see 50 mile per hour wind gusts, maybe even more. you might go 50? what happened to the 100 mile per hour? 50 miles an hour is enough to blow your garbage can down the street, bring tree limbs down and enough to bring power down. power outages will continue to be a big story in the next couple of days, too. that surge continues to come up. this is the height of the surge over towards battery park. high tide is coming in now. this is as high as the water is going to go. it's about 3 feet above average tide. anderson? >> a lot of people certainly in new york city who have been anticipating the worst and the city has to do that because god forbid the storm does get worse than people think it's going to be, i think a lot of people will be feeling like, okay, this is
not as bad as was predicted or possibly could have been. what happened to the storm as it approached new york? you said it started to break up, did it continue on the same path and is just -- the storm weakened as it went over land? >> actually it's been scraping over the water. we just had that second landfall just north of atlantic city. it's pretty much behaving the way we thought it was going to, anderson, especially in terms of the track. this track is right on. once this thing got out of the bahamas, it's going what we thought it was going to do. things come into play, water temperature, wind shear, we have a cold front that came through. it's interacting with that now. the further north it goes, the weaker the storm will continue to become. >> that's certainly great news. again, the question now is what happens to those low-lying areas, the coastal areas? let's check in with our
affiliate wcbs who i think is in delmar. take a look t. gi. it gives you an idea of what to expect over the next hour or so. let's go over to scott rapaport. >> to reinforce the evacuation here, you can see police crewers. >> let's check in with soledad o'brien, to the west of me, known as the meat packing district. >> the meat packing district, of course, is a place where meat used to be packed and processed. in the last 10, 15 years it's become the center of hip and happening new york city. on a normal sunday morning you'd have people returning from clubs. obviously it's not a normal sunday morning. you can see the water, that's
the west side highway and the hudson river. we're just about a block from the water. everything to my left is evacuation zone "a," mandatory evacuation, low-lying area. this is landfill. these buildings built on landfill. over here is evacuation zone "b." they encourage you strongly to evacuate but you don't have to. i'm on washington street, the wind picks up because we're in a channel, the wind running through at this stage already, two hours out from the storm. the rain coming down through the streets. inside this building, i want to show you a little bit, anderson when we went inside to see what the problem is with some of these old buildings, the real issue. take a look. so we're inside one of the old buildings, about 100 years old that's in evacuation area "b." people were told they should evacuate, encouraged to evacuate
but it wasn't mandatory for the people here. this is the problem. this is one of the buildings that's built on landfalls. the elevator shaft, walk down here, listen. that's water pouring in. that's not a good sign. especially since really the bulk of the hurricane hasn't even hit yet. we'll head downstairs so i can show you what the big concern here is in this building. be careful on these stairs. you can see it down here. 30 minutes ago this was completely dry. ten minutes ago the water hadn't come up this far. now look. hey, johnny, we'll get a shot in here. johnny is the superer in this building. he's getting the pump set because he's going to try to start bailing the water out. come this way, jamie. we're already up to 6 inches of water or so. if you look down this shaft, that's several feet. come back this way. now, this is not unusual in old buildings like this.
even in a heavy rainstorm. the problem becomes, of course, when the amount of water that is expected in this area, this is landfall, this used to be a beach here. we'll get out of johnny's way. when the water starts pouring in, one pump like this is going to be problematic, obviously. what he's trying to do now is get the water that's already started to pour in, get it out. as the wind increases and the rain whips up, it's going to be a problem. this is typical of old buildings like this. how much water will you get? how quickly will it rise? will it take out the traal grid, all the things laying under the streets in new york city, that's going to be the problem here. we'll continue to monitor what's happening inside this building. johnny staying through the night trying to make sure, like many supers, i'm certain, to make sure the building is safe and try to clean up as fast and as much as he possibly can.
while the water really, really is not at its height yet. you're looking at anna. that's johnny's daughter, the super's daughter. you can see the amount of water they're trying to pump out of the building. this is a good sign, the drain still working. that's positive news. a little dubious about this scaffolding over your left shoulder, jamie. the city, of course, full of things like this. we're still about two hours or so, according to jacqui's estimation of when the storm will hit right here. we'll keep monitoring it for you, anderson. back to you. >> soledad, thanks very much. soledad obviously in the meat packing district. let's go to rob marciano in long beach. what's it like there? we saw big waves, heavy wind a short time ago.
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we're coming to you from new york, from the greenwich village about a block south of washington square park where the rain is still coming down pretty strongly as it is going to be pretty much for the next 12 hours. according to jacqui jeras, this may be as bad as it gets. we'll get another storm advisory
at 8:00 a.m. that will give us a sense of whether it's a cat 1 storm or a tropical storm. jacqui jeras believes it is probably a tropical storm. we get official confirmation of that at 8:00. don lemmen is standing by in philadelphia. he has the mayor. don, what does the mayor have to say? >> mayor michael nutter has been here. you've had no sleep. nobody's had sleep here. tell us, there were a lot of outages. what's beginning on? >> in the region 270,000 outages, in philadelphia, 21,000. peco trying to stay on top of it. they brought personnel from outside philly, outside pennsylvania to get ready to jump on that. we've had about 100 trees in various parts of street down and live wires down. obviously never go near any wire, it could be live and literally could kill you. >> flooding in big parts, darby,
not doing well. >> literally, couches, furniture floating down the street. water up to street sign levels. the schuylkill river is already at flood stage and will not crest until about 8:00 tonight, at about 15 feet. that's the second high nest recorded hitstry in philadelphia. every river, every stream, every creek all at flood stage and we still have more rain and wind gusts and sustained winds coming later on today. >> you think you sort of dodged it so to speak. the backside of the storm, you'll get that wind and that surge. you were here, i was here in 19 -- 1999. we know what problems that caused. >> in addition, we've had the wettest, most rain hit month in the history of the city of philadelphia. the ground table was already saturated. nowhere for the